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Following naming conventions and best practices

From: Access 2010: Queries in Depth

Video: Following naming conventions and best practices

Before we jump deeper into queries, I wanted to take a moment to pass on some of the best practice naming conventions used by Access professionals. You will see these naming rules applied throughout this title and I wanted to point them out early so that you can recognize them and see how they are used. Keep in mind that they're by no means required by Access but they are tried and true best practice that have been standardized over several decades of use in various database systems. If I open up my Chapter 1 custom group, you will notice that we have tables and queries here. Tables are represented by tbl_ and queries are represented qry_.

Following naming conventions and best practices

Before we jump deeper into queries, I wanted to take a moment to pass on some of the best practice naming conventions used by Access professionals. You will see these naming rules applied throughout this title and I wanted to point them out early so that you can recognize them and see how they are used. Keep in mind that they're by no means required by Access but they are tried and true best practice that have been standardized over several decades of use in various database systems. If I open up my Chapter 1 custom group, you will notice that we have tables and queries here. Tables are represented by tbl_ and queries are represented qry_.

This is a form of Lozanoski or Hungarian naming convention where each object is named first by the object type and then with a unique identifying name. I've used CamelCase words to improve legibility, but I have omitted spaces to prevent any issues with moving each object into another database system down the road. Now, Access gives us some keys when we are looking at our database objects to tell us what they are. Mostly, it relies on icons. So this is an icon for a table. This is an icon for a query. If I expand my Introduction section, we've got queries, forms, and reports and we can see their icons.

But there are several places within Access where we don't have the icons to help us out to tell us what object we are looking for. For instance, if I look at our Database Tools and then Relationships, we will see a bunch of tables represented but I wouldn't be able to tell these were tables except for my keys that I have at the beginning. For instance, I can right-click and say Show Table and then add a query to this list and close the window. Again, I have got my key here that tells me this is the query but without this name, I would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between this table and this query.

So, let's take a look at some of the common tags that we will be using throughout this course. We will be using tbl to denote tables. tlkp will be a lookup table, a special kind of smaller table that only gives us additional information. qry will be our queries, rpt will stand for reports, frm will denote from objects, and mcr will be our macros. We will also see cbo and cmd, which will denote combo boxes and command buttons that we will be using on our forms.

Microsoft Access is really flexible and it's designed so that you can get quite a bit accomplished without ever needing to look at the line of Visual Basic or SQL code. If you don't plan out moving your data to any other environments and you are confident that you'll never need to pass your database onto somebody else to maintain, feel free to break any or all of these practices as you see fit. Rest assured that your database will work just fine if you use long names, spaces, capital letters, whatever you want. If however, there's a slimmest of possibilities that your project will grow beyond a simple personal endeavor. then I would urge you to consider putting some of these best practices into your workflow.

Being consistent and deliberate in your methods will only help you down the road.

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Access 2010: Queries in Depth

46 video lessons · 13461 viewers

Adam Wilbert
Author

 
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  1. 9m 9s
    1. Welcome
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
    3. Introducing the database
      4m 29s
    4. Previewing the course
      2m 49s
  2. 17m 17s
    1. Understanding queries
      3m 31s
    2. Following naming conventions and best practices
      2m 56s
    3. Using the Query Wizard
      5m 21s
    4. Exploring the design interface
      5m 29s
  3. 26m 39s
    1. Defining criteria
      5m 40s
    2. Understanding comparison operators
      3m 19s
    3. Defining the column headers
      2m 49s
    4. Exploring the property sheet
      7m 32s
    5. Printing query results
      2m 41s
    6. Working with joins
      4m 38s
  4. 14m 14s
    1. Understanding parameter queries
      4m 27s
    2. Obtaining parameters from forms
      5m 17s
    3. Creating a combo box
      4m 30s
  5. 23m 24s
    1. Understanding the Totals field
      5m 31s
    2. Creating aggregate calculations
      3m 31s
    3. Exploring the Expression Builder interface
      4m 28s
    4. Using mathematical operators
      5m 46s
    5. Applying text functions
      4m 8s
  6. 24m 23s
    1. Understanding dates as serial numbers
      2m 42s
    2. Specifying a range of dates or times
      3m 47s
    3. Formatting dates
      4m 31s
    4. Using other Date/Time functions
      3m 47s
    5. Defining today's date
      2m 41s
    6. Calculating time intervals
      6m 55s
  7. 20m 9s
    1. Introducing the conditional IIf function
      2m 57s
    2. Creating an IIf function
      7m 31s
    3. Nesting IIf functions
      4m 57s
    4. Using the Switch function
      4m 44s
  8. 20m 41s
    1. Understanding the reporting tool
      2m 13s
    2. Building the form
      6m 57s
    3. Building the query
      5m 4s
    4. Building the report
      3m 30s
    5. Finalizing the reporting tool
      2m 57s
  9. 25m 37s
    1. Finding duplicate records
      2m 17s
    2. Identifying unmatched records
      2m 29s
    3. Creating crosstab results
      2m 57s
    4. Creating backups
      1m 29s
    5. Creating update queries
      3m 22s
    6. Making, deleting, and appending records
      5m 36s
    7. Uniting tables
      3m 16s
    8. Embedding SQL code in queries
      4m 11s
  10. 1m 0s
    1. Next Steps
      1m 0s

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